HCPro Health Plan Insider - January 28, 2009 | Hey, Health Insurers: You're Missing Out View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free
Hey, Health Insurers:
You're Missing Out

Les Masterson, Senior Editor-Managed Care

Health insurers lose 3% of group members annually because they aren't retaining members who retire or lose group coverage. That number is only expected to increase over the next five years. [Read More]
  January 28, 2009

Editor's Picks
Pennsylvania official: Merger would have hurt healthcare
Consolidating two Pennsylvania Blues plans would have reduced competition, hurt providers, and meant fewer options for consumers, according to Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario. Knowing that Ario planned to reject their merger, Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross and Pittsburgh-based Highmark, Inc., withdrew their applications last week. The sticking points for the Insurance Department were the merger's adverse impact on competition and the health insurers' refusal to relinquish the use of either the Blue Cross or Blue Shield brand. [Read More]
A premium sucker punch
The national economic crisis is forcing employers to review their health benefits and transfer more healthcare costs onto their workers. Two research firms have found that more employers are raising deductibles and premiums this year. Experts say the benefit packages contain the biggest increases for employers since 2001 as health costs outpace wages. [Read More]
Blue Cross of Massachusetts insurer under scrutiny
Massachusetts' attorney general is investigating whether Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Partners HealthCare illegally colluded to increase the cost of health insurance. Attorney General Martha Coakley has requested information from the two companies, which are the largest health insurer and provider in the state. [Read More]
Health insurer offers strip mall customer service
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has opened a retail store that is peddling individual, group, and children's health insurance. SC BlueStore is the latest example of health insurers looking for new avenues to reach consumers. I recently wrote about Highmark's new retail stores and the potential that I see beyond selling plans. [Read More]
California health insurers discriminate against women, lawsuit contends
California health insurers are discriminating against women by charging them 39% more for individual coverage than men, the city of San Francisco claimed in a lawsuit filed against state regulators. The lawsuit against Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and Cindy Ehnes, director of the Department of Managed Health Care, contends that the state's health insurance laws, which allow gender ratings, are unfair to women and should be deemed unconstitutional. Ten states do not allow gender ratings for individual health insurance and California legislators have filed two bills recently seeking to stop the practice. Health insurers say gender ratings are needed in individual insurance because women's healthcare is more costly. [Read More]
Los Angeles judge issues restraining order against insurer
A California judge issued a temporary restraining order against Anthem Blue Cross to stop the company from sending notices to former customers offering them $1,000 to drop legal claims against the insurer. Anthem reached a settlement with the state Department of Managed Health Care last July that required the insurer to reinstate coverage to about 1,700 former members whose policies were canceled. The Los Angeles city attorney said the $1,000 offer to forfeit legal rights was misleading and asked the Superior Court judge to stop the insurer. [Read More]
Managed Care Headlines
A giant battle over Medicaid is brewing in Minnesota
Minneapolis Star Tribune - January 27, 2009
Growing need for Medicaid strains states
New York Times - January 22, 2009
Rhode Island to test Medicaid spending
New York Times - January 22, 2009
Some fear window is narrow for healthcare overhaul
Boston Globe - January 28, 2009
Relief seen for jobless and states in healthcare plan
New York Times - January 28, 2009
GOP amendment falls short on health bill
AP/Yahoo News - January 28, 2009

Webcasts/Audio conferences
February 12: Incentive-Based Compensation Plans to Enhance Physician Performance
February 20: ED Overhaul 2009: Five Improvements to Make Today
February 24: Form 990H: Act Now to Protect Your Reputation
From HealthLeaders Media
Where's the Value in Healthcare?
Patients today seek healthcare information and treatment from a variety of sources like health information Web sites, social networks, and the more traditional physician office. HealthLeaders contributor John Morrow offers five strategies that healthcare executives can use to better demonstrate their organization's value to these newly empowered consumers. [Read More]
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Disease Management 2.0

As skepticism about true cost savings continues to grow, DM shifts its focus beyond chronic disease. [Read More]
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Contact Lisa Brown, Director of Integrated Sales, at lbrown@healthleadersmedia.com or call 781.639.1872.
Resources From HCPro

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